On Sunday evening, I tried the much hyped, Soul Cycle. I had heard so much about Soul Cycle; from the celebrities sightings, to the amount of money people spend on their classes to the entertainment value of their instructors.
On Sunday at 5PM, I attended Mike’s 45-minute class at the E 63rd Street location. I showed up fifteen minutes early for class and already the place was PACKED and it was hard to make my way through the zoo of anxious exercisers.
Once I got geared up in my spandex and cycling shoes, I headed into the room to find my assigned bike and was very surprised at what I found when I opened the studio door: the lights were off, there was a DJ-like platform in the front-centre and there were raised ‘bleachers’ for the second and third rows of bikes. Yes, it was definitely more Studio 54 than a studio gym, but seeing as I am a soccer-mom in a 21-year old’s body, I was pretty intimidated by the club atmosphere but excited for the experience.
The class started right on time and it started strong….and LOUD, maybe too loud. There was pulsating music that pounded through speakers and made me feel like I was going to go deaf, however, by the end of class I didn’t notice the music at all…probably due to the hearing loss in combination with my profuse sweating. In the warm up and throughout the class Mike was extremely encouraging to the newcomers and instructed us to go to the beat of the music but also listen to our bodies and go at a half beat if necessary. Good thing the lights were off because I am so rhythmically challenged that I am pretty sure I looked like I was riding a bucking horse for the majority of class. In addition to the dark room and DJ stand, the were also spot lights on Mike, in addition to colourful lights on his podium…yes, intense, but then again, it’s all part of the Soul Cycle experience.
Over the 45-minute class, I sweated and was challenged but somehow felt incredible …I can see why people spend so much money on a single fitness class; in those 45-minutes you are completely engrossed in the experience, in the music and in the instructors every command. I never understood how people could sweat SO MUCH in such a short period of time (without it being hot yoga) but somewhere in those 45-minutes, I too, was one of those sweat-soaked, lululemon-clad cyclists. Another thing I liked about the class was that the upper body is not ignored; many push ups are preformed on the bike, in addition to lifting light-free weights. My only concern with the free weight section of the class was the speed at which the repetitions were being performed, because they too, were going to the beat of the music, therefore form was easy to be made sloppy.
Conclusion? It’s totally addicting and I loved the energy of the class, however, I could never afford this exercise habit and wasn’t crazy about how well aware of how cool and hip the studio was, as well as its clients the entire time I was there. On the morning after the class, I felt a bit sore and was happy with the lasting burn:) Also, Mike, our instructor was awesome and gave his all to the class…he even stuck around after class talking to clients and taking sweaty photos with eager bloggers!
Have you tried Soul Cycle? Do you have a similar studio in your city? Do you go to another spin class that you enjoy?
I’ve got a big day of yoga, art seminar and babysitting ahead of me!